MMO Melting Pot will be going dark on the 18th to protest SOPA

Just a quick heads-up – the Melting Pot will be joining the widespread Internet protest day on Jan 18th, protesting SOPA . We’ll be effectively unavailable from noon to midnight GMT.

I’d rather not do this – I don’t like making information unavailable even for a short time – but SOPA, if passed, could be disastrous both for the Internet at large and personally for the Pot. Everything that BoingBoing says about SOPA’s effects on them apply to us too – we’d have to check every page of every site we ever link to to make sure there were no infringing links anywhere, which would probably be an impossible task, potentially meaning we’d just have to stop linking. We’d also probably have to disable or at least heavily moderate comments, and – the list goes on.

And ours is not even in the top 50% of serious chilling effects from the Act. It would also have a chilling effect on people who are trying to publicise police brutality, people who are trying to campaign for political change, people just trying to reach out and discover that the world isn’t as crazy as their circumstances make it appear – from abused children to victims of political oppression.

So, despite my misgivings, we’re going dark for a day, and I’d urge you to take action against SOPA . You can do something whether you’re in the USA or not – and thanks to SOPA’s far-reaching implications, this isn’t just a US issue.

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SOPA And MMORPGs, LoTRO costume contest concludes, and more

In today’s link column, we’re seeing the start of a subject I expect to occupy much of next week – the potentially disasterous US SOPA controversy. Plus, a fantastic fashion contest in LoTRO concludes, and more!

  • If you’ve not read about SOPA, you should learn about it – it’s potentially disasterous for the Internet as a whole. MMOCrunch lists the gaming companies who still support the Act – and they’ve cancelled their SWTOR account in protest. Meanwhile, the Firefall beta is shutting down for a day to protest SOPA.
  • Three of the top LoTRO fashion blogs teamed up for a winter fashion contest, and the winners – from hundreds of entries – have been announced
  • Lono at Screaming Monkeys is pleased to see that Bioware are firmly on the side of server-only instance grouping“. There is huge social pressure to not be a jerk that goes away when the odds that you will never see these people again is high.”
  • And Syl at Raging Monkeys (yep, it’s a monkey-heavy post today) finds that the very things we complained about in older games are what give Minecraft its unique appeal“In many ways, the features I’ve listed as Minecraft’s virtues would’ve been considered weaknesses and difficulties 10 years ago. Back then, all we ever shouted for was to remove the “frustrating aspects”: the long walks, the randomness, the imbalance, the punishment. “

We’re considering going dark for a day to raise awareness of SOPA, on January 18th – do you think we should?

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